Is Nathan Adrian The Most Consistent 100m Sprinter in U.S. History? GMM presented by

Gold Medal Minute presented by

While I love 50m free, the 100m is crucial,  the discipline that delivers hardware in the most exciting races of the Olympic Games–the 4×100 freestyle and medley relays.

Nathan Adrian  has won gold in the last three Olympic Games. He has 32 international medals, 20 of them gold. He’s been incredibly consistent, especially in the blue ribbon event, the 100 meter freestyle.

Focusing on 100m free in U.S. swimming history, how does Adrian compare to sprinting greats like Matt Biondi and Gary Hall Jr.?   Biondi (11 Olympic medals) and Hall (10 Olympic medals) tops Nathan (8 Olympic medals) on medal count, but, in my opinion, Nathan’s been more consistent in the 100m free.  It’s that third trip to the Olympic stage where Adrian has the edge, getting on the podium and playing a big role on the relays.

Is Adrian the most consistent 100-man in U.S. history?  What do you think?  

Is the comparison even fair?  Biondi suffered from a lack of NGB financial support during his era.  

Should Jason Lezak be on the list? He made the Olympic podium once in the 100m free, winning bronze, but he was a factor on relays across 2000, 04′, ’08 and ’12, and, of course, his ’08 anchor is the greatest swim of all-time. Maybe Lezak is the most consistent 100-man in U.S. history.  

I’m Team Adrian, but I think a lot readers will challenge my argument.

Lastly, Caeleb Dressel? Does anyone want to look into the crystal ball on this guy? Where’s he going to be by 2024?  I only ask for fun because I did not predict his 2017 Worlds performance. 

Follow Nathan Adrian on Twitter here.

Like Nathan Adrian on Facebook here


This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of, a Swimming News website.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

14 Comment threads
45 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
35 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Consistent, nearly to a fault. He can’t seem to crack that 47.7-47.8 barrier, no matter what he goes in-season and whether or not he focuses on the 50m free, which was opposite of what he had done this summer. I think it would just be more beneficial to focus on that 50, since the empirical evidence shows that the 100 time is generally static regardless of approach.


I’ve also noticed that trend in the past few years. Although he’s definitely consistent, he hasn’t seemed to lower his PB in a while. I’m wondering if Durden has a plan to do something about that; all I want is for Nathan to be able to go 47 low or faster. Such a great dude and I really want to see him succeed!


Yes, correct!

Billy Bob Thornton

Agree that Nathan is the most consistent, though I’m often a bit underwhelmed by his times. Dressel’s definitely the best male swimmer in the world and I think he will be for quite a while. Lezak wins most consistent relay swimmer.


Lezak wins best relay leg ever, sure, but Adrian is consistently amazing on the end of a relay. Dude went 46.60 in 2013 and has gone several other 46’s since. Honestly not sure how Lezak’s numbers stack up as far as consistency, and I don’t know how to factor in the super suits, since they were a thing during Lezak’s years while Adrian only came on the scene at the tail end. Lezak wins longevity hands down (and, it should be said, for now.. If Adrian pulls a crazy anchor in Tokyo we might have to reconsider).

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo

Underwhelmed by a 47 100 free?

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!